Saying the federal government had failed to curb gun trafficking, mayors from 15 cities gathered yesterday in New York and agreed to intensify efforts to combat illegal firearms. Mayors Bloomberg of New York and Menino of Boston, the organizers, said the mayors needed to use every tool, from crackdowns on irresponsible gun dealers to new gun-tracing technologies, because federal authorities had abdicated their responsibility. Bloomberg has made gun violence a signature issue of his second term, hoping to place it at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness, reports the New York Times.
With the city’s efforts to combat gun trafficking faltering at the Congressional and legal levels, the mayor is working to enlist politicians nationwide in the fight to put pressure on Congress and others to tighten the availability of guns. Menino, citing increased violence in Boston, described gun violence as an epidemic fueled by a “code of silence” among fearful residents, the return of former inmates to their neighborhoods and a growing phenomenon of “community guns” used by multiple criminals. The group included the mayors of Washington, Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Milwaukee. They pledged to meet again this year and to expand the number of mayors involved to at least 50.